Friday, January 25, 2019

Approximately 10,000 Palestinians gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return. IDF troops violently disperse them near Rafah, Khan Yunis, al-Bureij refugee camp, Gaza City, and Jabaliya refugee camp; 1 Palestinian is killed and 146 are injured. This brings the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 199. Also along Gaza’s border, IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians who crossed the border fence into Israel. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian minor accused of throwing stones at vehicles driving outside Silwad village near Ramallah. They also violently disperse Palestinians, Israelis, and international activists at Friday protests against the Israeli occupation in 2 villages near Ramallah (al-Mughayyir and Ras Karkar); 3 Palestinians are injured. Israeli troops shoot and injure 2 more Palestinians during clashes in Tuqu‘ near Bethlehem; and patrol near Tulkarm and Hebron. Late at night, Israeli settlers smash the windows of 3 Palestinian vehicles in Turmus ‘Ayya village near Ramallah. Settlers also throw stones at a Palestinian home on the outskirts of Hebron, lightly injuring 2 Palestinians. (HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, WAFA 1/25; HA, MNA, MNA, MNA 1/26; PCHR 1/31)

After Hamas refused to allow the next tranche of $15 million from Qatar into Gaza on 1/24, a senior Qatari official says that Doha plans to transfer money to families in urgent need and humanitarian and infrastructure projects in Gaza. “The main goal of the Qatari grant is to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people,” he says. “Some parties have interpreted the humanitarian aid as ‘calm in return for dollars’ and this is not true.” He also criticizes Israel: “There are other parties that are exploiting the humanitarian aid for the internal elections and to score political points.” The official says that Doha is working with the UN to distribute as much as $20 million. The original $15 million was planned to help pay the salaries of the civil servants of the Hamas-run government and to support families in urgent need in Gaza. Later, a senior Hamas official welcomes the Qatari plan to maintain humanitarian aid to Gaza. (JP, TOI 1/25; REU, YA 1/26)